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Closed hearing held in insider trading case
By Sandy Shore, Associated Press
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, March 9, 2007

Prosecutors and Joe Nacchio's attorneys briefly criticized one another Friday before they huddled privately with a judge to discuss the former Qwest chief's upcoming insider trading trial.  The defense complaint centered on the evidence exchange process which they said was too slow and noted they have received nearly 20,000 pages of material since Feb. 1.  Prosecutors sought permission to respond a defense brief they believe was filed after a deadline.

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham urged both sides to file briefs on issues with enough time for him to consider the arguments and rule, noting that the trial is set March 19, a little more than a week away.

Nacchio was not present for the hearing, the last scheduled status conference before his trial.  However, defense attorney Herbert Stern said he would consult with prosecutors about whether another hearing will be needed next week and inform the judge.

The attorneys and Nottingham then convened behind closed doors to discuss secret government documents that are protected from public release by federal law.  Attorneys and Nottingham are working on substitute explanations for the material that will be used at trial.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys left the courtroom without comment.

An unspecified number of prospective jurors has been summoned for the trial, which is expected to last up to eight weeks.  Nottingham plans to seat 12 jurors and eight alternates.,1299,DRMN_4_5407310,00.html